The Philosophical Quarterly (forthcoming)
AbstractIn this paper, I defend the view that self-deception is a moral failure. Instead of saying that self-deception is bad because it undermines our moral character or leads to morally deleterious consequences, as has been argued by Butler, Kant, Smith, and others, I argue the distinctive badness of self-deception lies in the tragic relationship that it bears to our own values. On the one hand, self-deception is motivated by what we value. On the other hand, it prevents us from valuing those things properly. I argue that we owe it ourselves to take seriously our own values, by striving to properly value them. This gives us both prudential and moral reasons to avoid self-deception.
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The Theory of Moral Sentiments: The Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence of Adam Smith.Adam Smith - 1976 - Oxford University Press UK.
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